International Affairs


Why study International Affairs?

As a long-established interdisciplinary major offered by the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), the International Affairs major allows you to delve into the workings of global and regional politics, cultures, and societies. In the major, you learn how you can make a difference in such international issues as poverty, war, climate change, and protecting human rights. The major prepares you for careers in government, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and more. Our majors acquire an understanding of world affairs, knowledge of particular regions and countries, and competency in foreign languages – all vital skills for citizens and professionals in the twenty-first century. International Affairs majors work with our award-winning faculty to examine real-world challenges such as climate change, international conflict, economic development, public health crises, and global inequalities.


The International Affairs major allows students to take courses in political science, history, economics, women’s, gender and sexuality studies, journalism, environmental studies, geography, foreign languages, and more. It is easy for students to design their own paths within the major or complete another major, minor, or certificate in many of the fields offered across an array of schools and departments at UC.


International Affairs students have ample opportunities to learn and thrive outside the classroom. Students can take advantage of UC’s Study Abroad programs, including several programs led or co-led by SPIA. Students can also choose to pursue a Co-Op track, taking on paid professional positions and integrating their experiences into their undergraduate degrees. Many of our students participate in on-campus activities relevant to their futures as foreign affairs professionals, including clubs such as our award-winning Model United Nations chapter. International Affairs majors are particularly competitive for some SPIA and UC scholarships and awards, for example the Tolley International Human Rights Scholarship. Meanwhile, we work closely with our International Affairs students to help them apply for major fellowships and grants, such as the Fulbright Scholarship, the Boren Scholarship, the Critical Languages Scholarship, and more – all awards that our students have recently won. Students also benefit from the wide range of international affairs programming offered by SPIA, including through its Portman Center for Policy Solutions, the Taft lecture series, its partnership with the Future University of Egypt, and the connections SPIA provides to International Affairs alumni working in the field. In short, the major offers deep and well-rounded preparation for a life and career on the global stage.

Admission Requirements

Please visit the Undergraduate Admissions page for more information.

International students should visit the Undergraduate Admissions for International Students page for more information.

International Affairs majors graduate from UC with compelling skills – language and cultural knowledge, and the ability to analyze political trends in a variety of settings. Many majors also develop quantitative skills as well, for example the ability to understand and analyze statistics. These skills help our graduates stand out in the job market and in graduate school and law school applications. With a sophisticated understanding of how global politics shapes the lives of people around the world and here in the United States, our graduates are poised to work in sectors ranging from diplomacy to intelligence to business.

Graduates with a BA in international affairs are prepared for careers in many sectors, including:


  • Government (diplomacy, intelligence, military, and more)
  • Multi-lateral organizations (the United Nations and many others)
  • International and National Nongovernmental organizations
  • Businesses and multinational corporations
  • Consulting
  • Journalism, communications, and public relations
  • Law
  • Advocacy (human rights, environmentalism, and more)
  • Education and higher education
  • Politics


Many of our majors also pursue advanced degrees, going to law school, master’s programs, Ph.D. programs, and more.

Minors are not available in the International Affairs program. However, students can choose to pursue a minor in Political Science, Journalism, History, Geography, Economics or other disciplines. Similarly, they can pursue a parallel degree (major, minor) in one or several foreign languages, Law and Society, Liberal Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, Political Science, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Environmental Studies and others.

The College of Arts and Sciences provides advising to all A&S students to advance each individual student’s educational goals and plans.  Further A&S information can be found here.

For further information, please contact the SPIA program director, whose name and information appear on this page.

The School of Public and International Affairs faculty provide advising about course content, specific program requirements, professional opportunities, and post-baccalaureate education.  Faculty advisors and office hours are provided on the SPIA website.

University of Cincinnati 3 + 3 Law School Admissions

This major welcomes eligible students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and a UC law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students will receive careful advising to complete their major and A&S core degree requirements in 3 years. More information is available here.

College of Arts and Sciences

Students in UC's College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies, and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.


Students in this program can participate in the optional co-op track and gain valuable work experience while they are still in school. To fulfill the requirements of this track, students are prepared to participate in a competitive search process to complete at least two co-op experiences. Participation in the co-op track will be noted on students’ transcripts. 

The International Affairs Program has an advanced foreign language requirement. This competence, combined with a working knowledge of other countries and cultures, make International Affairs majors preferred candidates for employment opportunities in the public and private sector in the United States and around the globe. The International Affairs curriculum at UC enables students to complement the major by completing a variety of certificate programs in foreign languages and area studies (Asian studies, European studies, Middle Eastern studies, Latin American studies, Judaic studies). The School of Public and International Affairs, the administering unit for the major, offers certificates in War, Peace, and Security; Legal Studies; International Human Rights; and Cybersecurity.

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the university.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution

Transfer students should apply using our 

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

For any inquiries, please contact us at


Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA

International students should visit the Undergraduate Admissions for International Students page for more information.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Dr. Alexander Thurston
Room 5114A Clifton Court Hall
2800 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0375
(513) 556-3320

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Program Code: 15BAC-INTA-BA